View Source question

Jecel Assumpcao Jr jecel at
Mon May 19 17:45:32 EDT 2008

Edward Cherlin wrote:
> Eh, LISP machine, Smalltalk machine, FORTH machine, APL machine. All
> great technical innovations, all market flops, if they were even
> implemented fully. Computers should be general-purpose.

I hope you are not saying that it is wrong for me to design Smalltalk
machines for children. Certainly it is best to try different ideas and
if they prove to be bad then they will flop, as you said. Though of
course they could be a good idea and still flop. After all, if Lisp
Machines are no longer with us I note that neither are their general
purpose competitors built by the likes of DEC and Data General.

About the view source button, we should have realistic expectations. If
you give out 50 XOs you might find that none of the children use this
features. Or you might have two looking at the html for some interesting
web site. If you give 1000 kids XOs I would be very surprised if not one
of them started poking around in the Python code. With the machines in
the hands of millions of children you can be sure at least some of them
will be trying to make sense of the Linux kernel sources. This is more
likely if older kids are involved but you never know what some really
young ones might do.

-- Jecel

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